Shamanism for Local and Global Change

Experiential knowledge of the shamanic worldview leads to a profound awareness of the sacred nature of our world and an awakening of compassion, resulting in the desire to restore balance and harmony. Shamanic work, when combined with ordinary reality knowledge and action, can make an immense contribution toward effective solutions for community and global problems. Join us for a discussion of how these perspectives can be helpful in providing inspired and workable ways to address complex issues such as climate change. This event is part of our One Book, One College Series.  

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Climate Change and the Nature of Belief (video)

If climate change is a matter of science, then why is it so difficult to find solutions to the climate crisis? The reality is that finding solutions requires more than scientific or technological answers. Solutions involve examining worldviews, belief systems, and identity. This event will explore the complexities behind belief and how that impacts the decisions we make. This event part of the One Book, One College Program and the MVCC Democracy Commitment programming.

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Island Life and Sustainable Development A Discussion Featuring Nichole Murray Broome

The Caribbean life is on the frontlines of climate change with increasingly severe hurricanes, shifts in agricultural production, floods, and warming oceans directly impact the ways that people live. Afro-Caribbean Social Entrepreneur, Nichole Murray Broome will discuss the effects of climate change on Barbados, Guyana, and the Caribbean region while also outlining grassroots efforts to take action for the future.

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Climate Wars, Leaked Documents, Pentagon, Australia, Iraq & Climate Change

The Pentagon is worried about climate wars. Iraq is being ravaged by climate change. Australia, Japan, and majors companies are hiding the impacts of climate change. This week has been a major week in terms of Climate Change reporting.

Check out these stories!

This years One Book, One College program is focused on building sustainable communities in the midst of climate change. Learn more at our One Book website.

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Carpool – The Remix: Creation of the PiggyBack Ride Share Network

Founder of the PiggyBack network, Ismael El-Amin, will discuss the development of the PiggyBack network which is a way for parents to share rides to and from schools and activities. Not only does PiggyBack make life easier but it also reduces traffic congestion and reduces our total carbon footprint. The PiggyBack network is a Chicago-based enterprise that has been featured on WGN and Fox Chicago. This event is part of our One Book programming.

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    Native Plants: Foundation of our Ecosystem (video)

    We were excited to welcome Catherine Bryla from Sag Moraine ( for a discussion about how native plants, insects and birds interconnect to maintain our food supply, water, air quality, climate etc. The significant decline in birds and insects is largely due to habitat loss and lack of native plants. She discusses ways that individuals can reverse this trend.

  • Visit our podcast page
  • Listen in Apple Podcasts
  • Download the MP3 audio:
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    Climate Reality: Catalyzing Solutions to the Climate Crisis (video)

    Faculty member Jana Svec is a trained Climate Reality presenter. She will outline the challenges of climate change as well as consider potential solutions.

    “Our mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every sector of society. We believe real change comes from the ground up. We know that a small-but-committed critical mass of activists can not only transform society, but change the world.”

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    That Smokey Haze Across the Chicago Skyline

    Have you noticed that milky haze across the sky? That’s smoke in the upper atmosphere from Western wildfires. There are 80 fires burning across 13 states and the smoke from those fires reaches across the entire US. Check out this NY Times story, See How Wildfire Smoke Spread Across America. (MVCC students and staff can sign up for a free account on the NY Times through our library).

    A map from the NY Times traces the route of smoke across the US.
    Haze in the sky of Chicago.

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    Switch to Green Power

    As part of our Earth Week explorations, we’ve been talking about different forms of climate action that we can take. The last piece that we’ll look at is energy.

    Right now, stay at home orders and social distancing are having an effect on energy consumption. Numbers vary across regions, but electricity suppliers have seen usage rates drop between 2% and 18%. This gets even more interesting when you factor in the time of day of current electricity usage coinciding with peak times for solar activity. Read more about all of this and what camel and duck curves mean in this article from grist magazine:

    How Coronavirus Is Changing Electricity Usage in 3 Charts

    But, what about the rest of the time? While the amount of energy we use is important, so is the source of that energy. We’ve already looked at the harm that fossil fuel consumption does to the planet through the greenhouse effect. Use of renewable forms of energy, such as wind and solar power, can alleviate that harm. We are making progress. Ten years ago, renewable energy sources made up 10% of electricity use. This year they’ll make up 20%. How can we get that number even higher?

    Adding solar panels to your house or business is one way to accomplish this. In Illinois, Com Ed’s My Green Power Connection is a place to start for information on generating your own power and connecting to the energy grid.

    Another way is by switching to a green energy provider. ComEd offers you a choice in electricity supplier. They will still bring the electricity to your house, but that electricity will come from the company that you choose. Find out more here. You can compare this list of certified green energy providers to the list of companies that ComEd works with.

    Read more about solar power, wind power, hydropower, and geothermal energy in the MVCC Library Catalog and Databases.

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    Find Your Foodprint

    Yesterday as part of our Earth Week exploration, we looked at carbon footprints. Part of what goes into a carbon footprint is food that we eat—foodprint.

    Foods are a large contributor to the build up of greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. Agriculture is responsible for almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, with animal agriculture making up about 80% percent of this. These emissions from animal agriculture result in an even bigger impact because a by-product of animal agriculture is methane gas, which has over 23 times the impact on the planet that carbon dioxide does. Animal agriculture also takes huge amounts of water and is a leading cause of deforestation, the problem that we looked at earlier in the week. Besides greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of natural resources, and land use, other things come into play with all types of agriculture, such as storage, and transportation.

    When we look at all of these things together, we can come up a foodprint. Knowing about the different amounts of impact from various foods can be helpful when climate action is our goal. Try a foodprint calculator to learn about how the foodprint of beef compares to that of chicken, and how various types of produce compare to nuts and so on.  

    Find even out more by reading through the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report Climate Change and Land. Consult the MVCC Library for even more resources on plant-based eating, and sustainable agriculture.

    And here’s an interesting idea from The Atlantic.

    What if Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef?

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